This is a fabulous vintage Fender Stratocaster built at the Fullerton facility in 1957. It appears to be an almost original condition apart from a wonderful old refinish Dakota Red professionally applied we think in the early 60s.
Dakota Red was a Cadillac colour, originating in 1958. Fender did not use Dakota Red before 1960 on its custom coloured guitars. We think that this refin was done long ago because it is showing the natural striations and weather checking you would expect on lacquer at least 50 years old. The nail holes under the guard are filled with the red paint and there is no undercoat.
The neck is V profile solid maple, with the standard maple fingerboard from the era. The neck has been finished with the clear nitro both on the fingerboard and on the rear of the neck.
The neck date appears to be July 1957 – the labelling is “7-5?” … and you can just barely see the “7” as it is severely faded, but it is there - just.
The body is solid alder with no extra routing under the pick guard. The truss rod works perfectly and all plastics appear to be original.
Body – Solid alder – no modifications
Neck – maple neck & fingerboard, medium V profile
Tuners – original Kluson
Original black bobbin pickups. Output N = 5.70 K M = 5.63 K B = 5.69 K
Volume & Tone pot codes are 304723 which are Stackpoles dating to June 1957
Unmolested cloth cable wiring, no solder joints have been touched
All plastics original
Original bridge, block, saddles & and trem assembly. Some non original saddle screws
Original neck plate and screws
Nitrocellulose Dakota Red refinish
Neck is straight with perfect relief & intonation
Original 3-way switch
Original input plate, jack socket, pickguard and screws
Weight = 7.53 lbs
The serial number on this one is “– 21xxx”. This is one of the quite rare “minus” numbers – ie - it starts with a minus sign. This was a quirky Fender feature we understand was only applied on some guitars in 1957 & 1958.
We think this one has a pro refret, and the work looks to have been done by a master luthier. The fretwire is slightly larger than the original vintage spec and the workmanship is excellent. Whatever the case, the frets have some evidence of wear around the first 4 frets, but not anything that compromises its playability, with some life left to go.
The headstock is super clean back and front with all stickers fully intact.
This one is way up there with some great vintage Strats we have listed. Super comfortable to play, it is a beautiful sounding instrument – clear, bell-like tones, with that wonderful woody sound from the neck pickup, plenty of snarl from the bridge p/u, and lots of pop & cluck from the in-between p/u settings. A spacious, almost 3 dimensional sound.
Feels and sounds exactly like a classic 50s Strat should – lots of history and comfortable like an old friend.
Comes in its old Fender tweed case in good condition for its age.